Simon Ling

Simon Ling (b. 1968, ) is engaged in depicting the world around him through painting objects and constructions principally found, sometimes made. Ling’s subjects, which include rotting piles of wood, undergrowth, circuit boards, and nondescript blocks of flats are inhabitants of the realm Ling calls the ‘un-named’, the dark matter of cultural reality. At first sight straightforward, his paintings of overlooked corners of the everyday generate works that bring this dark matter to light and include as their subject the creative act and temporality of the conscious mind.

Ling’s practice is characterised by a sustained and intense engagement with looking and the painting process. His works are animated by the cognitive drama that results from engaging a thing through the practice of creative observation to produce an object alive to perception.

Ling produces richly textured oil paintings on canvas which focus in on details of both urban and natural landscapes, often littered with the detritus of human lives. The tight angle and slight distortion with which the works are framed, causes a sense of disorientation in the viewer, making it impossible to grasp senses of scale or context. 

Ling holds a BA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art and an MFA from the Slade School of Art.

Solo and duo exhibitions include ‘Simon Ling and Karin Ruggaber’, greengrassi, London (2023); ‘Simon Ling and David Musgrave’, greengrassi, London (2020); ‘Simon Ling’, Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne (2018); ‘Simon Ling’, greengrassi, London (2017); ‘The Showing Uv It’, Kunsthalle, Bergen (2015); ‘Simon Ling’, greengrassi, London (2012); ‘Nail Through Finger’, greengrassi, London (2008); ‘Simon Ling’, greengrassi, London (2006, 2003 and 2001).

His works have been featured in group exhibitions including Minnesota Street Project, San Francisco (2024); greengrassi, London (2023); Le Consortium, Dijon (2023); Blanc Art Group, Beijing (2022); Camden Arts Center, London (2020 and 2009); The Lewinsky gallery, Plymouth (2020); Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong (2019); , Guildhall Art Gallery, London (2019); Leeds Art Gallery, Leeds (2019); Corvi-Mora, London (2019); Kunsthalle, Bergen (2015); Tate Britain, London (2013 and 2009); CAPC, Bordeaux (2009); Ben Brown Fine Arts, London (2006). 

Ling won the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Awards for Artists (2018). His works are held in public collections including Fundació Sorigué, Lleida; Government Art Collection, London; Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; Kistefos Museum, Jevnaker; National Museum of Wales, Cardiff; Tate Britain, London; The British Council, London; The Rachofsky House, Dallas; Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne.

Simon Ling is represented by greengrassi.

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